En EspaŅol

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?


Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions
Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - September 01, 2009

From: Glen Allen, VA
Region: Mid-Atlantic
Topic: Shrubs
Title: Shrubs for house landscaping in Virginia
Answered by: Nan Hampton


I would like suggestions for types of shrubs to be planted in front of my house.


Mr. Smarty Plants suggests that you visit the Recommended Species page on our webpage and select your state from the map or the pulldown menu.  This will give you a list of commercially available native plants suitable for landscapes in Virginia.  You can then use the NARROW YOUR SEARCH option to limit the results by choosing 'Shrub' from the GENERAL APPEARANCE option.  You can also add your choice for other criteria (e.g., under LIGHT REQUIREMENT and/or SOIL MOISTURE).  Since I don't know what the light and moisture parameters for your yard are, I will suggest a few shrubs with a variety of growing requirements.  You can check those against your site's conditions.  You can also see for yourself if there are other possibilities in the Recommended Species list. 

Ceanothus americanus (New Jersey tea) is a small (up to 3 ft.) with small white flowers in the spring.

Cornus alternifolia (alternateleaf dogwood) is described as a large shrub or tall tree (up to 35 ft.).  It has white flowers that make berries that attract birds.

Kalmia latifolia (mountain laurel) is a large evergreen shrub (12-20 ft.) with pink flowers in the spring.

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush) is a 6-12 ft.shrub with aromatic leaves.

Rhododendron calendulaceum (flame azalea) is 6-12 ft tall with showy orange flowers.

Robinia hispida (bristly locust) grows up to 8 feet tall with pinkish flowers in the spring.

Ceanothus americanus

Cornus alternifolia

Kalmia latifolia

Lindera benzoin

Rhododendron calendulaceum

Robinia hispida




More Shrubs Questions

Will wax myrtle (Morella cerifera) grow in Roswell NM?
September 29, 2011 - We live in Roswell, NM. Will a wax myrtle tree live in our climate and soil?
view the full question and answer

Native landscape in Central Austin
September 02, 2007 - We live in Central Austin and are landscaping part of yard. We planted a 30 gallon red oak tree, built sizeable beds around it and want to complete the landscaping with native grasses, shrubs, climbin...
view the full question and answer

Problems with azaleas
April 22, 2008 - Last summer I planted 10 evergreen Azaleas "Hino Crimson" I sprinkled a little rhody fertilizer in their holes before planting and gave them plenty of water all summer. They are all doing fine excep...
view the full question and answer

Rhododendrons Hydrangeas in Indiana
December 13, 2007 - I live in very southern Indiana. Our home faces west and at the front of our home I have planted three rhododendrons. The furthest south is growing well the two to the north not so well. All three h...
view the full question and answer

Hedge options for Sag Harbor, New York.
October 11, 2010 - Hello, My fiance and I live in Sag Harbor, NY on the East End of Long Island. We would like to plant a hedge across our yard to separate the front and back and have privacy. Here is a picture o...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.
© 2015 Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center